Welcome to the Red Bulls Expert Guide presented by Once a Metro.
I’m excited for this upcoming season. You have no idea what is going to happen. Maybe the Red Bulls will win the MLS Cup. Maybe the team will qualify for some fancy yet-to-be-named extra competition. Perhaps I will find a friend who enjoys attending games with me. This could be a year of miracles.
Here’s this week’s top story.
The thunder of transfer news rebounded throughout the Red Bull world, followed swiftly by the illumination of the sky with the lightning of detail.
The target is Patryk Kilmala, a Polish youth international striker currently at Celtic FC. According to the Herald and Times Sport, reporter Mark Hendry “understands [the move] could be a permanent switch.” The transfer was put together by the player’s representatives, as they “have already opened a dialogue between the two clubs.”
Despite prior reporting Klimala would be joining the Red Bulls on loan, his journey to New York increasingly appears to be of the permanent variety. Adding fuel to the fire is his absence from Celtic’s training sessions, which surely indicates… something. Stay tuned because this one seems like it will be happening.
First round SuperDraft pick Luther Archimède was interviewed by Karaïbes Sports, one of the premier multimedia football platforms for the West Indies and Guyana. He discussed his journey through the sport and his delight at being selected by the Red Bulls. “It is a great honor, an immense pride to be able to sign my first professional contract,” said the 21-year-old former Sochaux and Syracuse striker.
When expansion side Austin FC drafted Daniel Pereira with the first pick in the 2021 SuperDraft, the club added a member of the young Venezuelan core, hoping to lead the country to its first ever World Cup. One of the first calls he received was from childhood friend, Cristian Cásseres. “I told him to come to Austin, but he said no,” shared the 20-year-old midfielder.
One of the new acquisitions from Celtic, Cameron Harper, is due for a breakout year. Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now interviewed the American youth international. He discussed his last days in Scotland, including the tense contract negotiations.
“The contract talks started happening, there was no kind of agreement on anything,” said Harper. “When they shipped me back down to the reserves, that’s when I got it tough because there’s only a few guys there… I would say maybe in September, it was getting pretty bad in terms of my place there. But I was still playing games, so it was okay… Leading up towards December, January, when I had a good idea about leaving, that’s when it kind of got a little bit uncomfortable.”
Harper joined the Red Bulls “to be truly valued as a first-team player.” He cites head of sport Kevin Thelwell as a key factor in his recruitment, as well as the club’s tactics and history of developing players. Additionally, Gerhard Struber is “creating a real togetherness and a real spirit,” something that should fill supporters with optimism.
Feel free to read the whole interview to get a rosy picture on the club’s outlook for the future.
RBNY’s chief marketing & revenue officer Joe Stetson spoke to Authority Magazine about being an effective leader during turbulent times. The executive has been with the club since 2014, after he was introduced to Marc de Grandpre. His leadership involved focusing the front office on “communication, engagement, preparation, and relationships.”
Stetson cites the improvement of the club’s internal communications and engagement during the quarantine. “It was important for us to manage all internal and external communications with a focus on transparency, facts, and consistency,” he said. “We also were not going to be quick to make statements and grand declarations of how we were going to fix the pandemic and societal problems without genuinely being mindful of what role WE CAN play in helping, while staying true to our values... We focused on over-communicating during this time and executing on new solutions to transform the fan experience.”
The team has quite the challenge ahead in 2021 with fans returning to the stadium, albeit in an initial limited capacity.
Fan favorite Damien Perrinelle has been working hard at AS Monaco, helping the club climb up to third place in Ligue 1 behind Paris Saint-Germain and Lille. The role of various coaches can be murky and confusing, with various duties and responsibilities going unseen by the general public. Thankfully, midfielder Youssouf Fofana provided some behind-the-scenes insight into the Frenchman’s influence.
“His main role is to act as a link between the staff and the players,” he explained on behalf of Perrinelle. “Sometimes he does translation when there is a lack of understanding. In addition, he’s the one who quit football the most recently among the staff, so he fully understands the requirements, and he’s there to talk to us, to calm us in the locker room when we’re upset after a match. He is very important.”
The role of facilitator is an essential, often overlooked position, with players needing a healthy outlet for discussion. A manager can be intimidating or preoccupied with other matters, requiring the need or a conduit who can more readily relate to the members of the squad. Keep an eye on Perrinelle because I have a feeling he’ll be a top division manager within the next ten years.
Perhaps someone at Once a Metro should interview him. Not me, of course - site policy is that I’m not allowed to talk to people.
Is reserve team forward Jake LaCava about to have a breakout year? The 20-year-old contributed five goals in 15 USL appearances last season after being called up from the Academy. Beyond the simple task of scoring, his statistical contributions leap off the page. According to American Soccer Analysis, he is one of the top players in the league for xG, shots per 96, xA, and key passes per 96, which I assume are all good things.
Currently at Santos de Guápiles, Roy Miller thinks fondly of his time with the Red Bulls. The 36-year-old defender spent six seasons at the club, from 2010 through 2015. His tenure in New York helped propel his game forward, particularly at the international level.
“I had very good experiences in most teams,” Miller told AM Prensa. “I can say that at the New York Red Bulls, which was the club where I was at the longest, which was six years, they were quite good times… It was a very nice step, with very good experiences… If you ask me, I think the New York Red Bulls was my best time in terms of football and also in family time.”
Miller cites sharing the field with some of the club’s bigger names as “beneficial,” having learned a lot from those “world icons.” In the past, he said this would be his last season, with perhaps a coaching role in his future. Surely the veteran of Costa Rica, Norway, Sweden, and the United States has plenty to share with the next generation of professional footballers.
Former New York manager Jesse Marsch received the Tifo Football treatment, featured in an animated video providing a background on “The American Coach thriving in European soccer.” The information is fairly standard fare for anyone who has followed his career but still probably worth a viewing. The tactical breakdown is a nice refresh ahead of the MLS season, perhaps to be used to compare and contrast with whatever nuance Gerhard Struber brings to his gegenpress.
Former Academy player Alex Tejera was profiled by Protagonists Soccer. The 25-year-old attacker was most recently with Arizona club Olympians FC of the fifth-tier United Premier Soccer League. He credits his time with the Red Bulls as formative.
“From U-15 to U-23 I was playing with the NYRB academy,” said Tejera. “The experience is unlike any other. When you’re brought into a professional environment at such a young age, it definitely shapes you into the player you become. It gives you the opportunity to train with the best players in the area and I was lucky enough to win an Academy National Championship with them.”
The Olympians fell in the 2020 Fall Championship final on penalties to Ginga Atlanta. Tejera scored in the semifinal. The Ossining, New York native now hopes to latch on with a USL League One or NISA club for preseason.
90 Min published a list of the “12 biggest players who have played for Red Bull Salzburg or RB Leipzig.” At number 11 is none other than Tyler Adams. The former New York midfielder joined the German sister club in 2019, a talent that has thrived in Europe and for the national team.
Here’s a joke that was submitted by Marilyn of Cranbury.
“I don’t know if Tyler Adams is that big. He’s 5’9”.”
Thank you, Marilyn. That is indeed the average height of an American male.
Do you have a story you’d like to submit to the Expert Guide? Email us at bencorkOAM@gmail.com or send a DM to @Once_A_Metro on Twitter.